ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. It is a government run body that helps employers and employees negotiate settlements before they go to the Employment Tribunal.
You should engage in ACAS early conciliation before going to the Employment Tribunal. You may be able to settle your claim early at ACAS which will save you considerable legal costs. If you take your claim to the Employment Tribunal and have not gone to ACAS, a Tribunal judge may see this as evidence that you have caused both sides to pay unnecessary costs.
ACAS only act as a mediator between the parties. They can only communicate offers from the other side; they can’t advise you on whether to accept those offers. At Adam Bernard, our employment law experts can advise you on negotiating the best ACAS settlement for you.
You will need to fill out a form on the ACAS website, following completion a conciliator will contact you for further details on your claim. ACAS can help you settle early, its cheaper than taking a claim to the Employment Tribunal and all negotiations are confidential.
The ACAS conciliation period lasts 6 weeks. If you cannot solve your dispute within this time, ACAS will issue you with an ACAS certificate. This certificate is proof that you attempted to resolve your dispute with ACAS. An ACAS conciliator acts as a middleman between the two parties. They will communicate offers to the parties as well as reminding them of any deadlines to respond to offers.
The ACAS code of practice sets out standards and procedures for dealing with workplace legal issues. The code covers most common issues spanning disciplinary proceedings up to dismissal. Employers should stick to procedures set out in the code to ensure employees are treated fairly and any decisions are reached lawfully.
An unfair dismissal claim, or automatic unfair dismissal claim must be made within 3 months less one day of the date of dismissal. The first step in bringing a claim is to lodge your dispute at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
For example, If you were dismissed on the 2nd of January, you would need to lodge your claim with ACAS before 1st April. We can assist you in filing for ACAS Early conciliation and entering negotiations with your employer.
It is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to ensure we can properly understand your case and maximise our time to assist you with your unfair dismissal claim. If you do not act in time, you will need to apply for an extension of time to allow the Employment Tribunal to accept the jurisdiction of your claim.